White-banded Judy

Scientific Name
Abisara neophron chelina
FRUHSTORFER, 1904
Specie in
Family
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Abisara neophron chelina – Patta Vangtal

Introduction

The genus Abisara comprises of 13 recognised species found variously in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, southern China, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sulawesi and Java. Additionally there are 11 species found in tropical Africa, and also 3 members of a very closely related genus Saribia found in Madagascar.

Most Abisara species have a distinctive stubby or pointed tail on the hindwings, and possess 2 or more prominent ocelli near the apex of the hindwings. The majority have an earthy brown ground colour, although some such as burnii and saturata have a maroon or plum hue which has given rise to the popular name Plum Judy which is often applied to the group as a whole.

Both sexes of neophron are similar in appearance, but the female is slightly paler and has longer tails.

Abisara neophron occurs from northern India to southern China, with the subspecies chelina being found in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, south China and peninsular Malaysia.

Habitats

In common with most Abisara species neophron is found in shady forest habitats, but sometimes ventures into open areas when the weather is overcast. This species appears to be restricted to temperate hill forest and cloudforest habitats at altitudes above 500m, unlike most other members of the genus which are generally found in the lowlands.

Lifecycle

The eggs are pale green, dome-shaped and very shiny. They are laid singly on the upper surface of leaves of the foodplants Myrsinaceae.

The larvae are cylindrical, tapering sharply toward the tail and towards the small yellow head. In the early instars they are yellowish-green and have a slightly translucent skin. When mature they are an opaque pale green colour, plump, and have the body segments clearly defined. At all stages they are sparsely covered with tufts of short white hairs.

The pupa is pale green and slug-like, flattened, and with a pointed tail and a blunt head which has a pair of flattened ear-like protrusions. It is formed on the upper surface of a leaf, and has the appearance of a small gall or blister.

Adult behaviour

This delightful little butterfly is almost always encountered singly, with females being seen more often than males, which suggests that the males spend much of their time high up in trees.

Both sexes are timid in behaviour, flitting nervously from leaf to leaf if approached. Females like to settle high up on bushes, or on the lower branches of trees, where they bask on foliage with their wings held half open. When perched on leaves they tend to constantly twist and turn using a series of jerky movements.

Abisara do not nectar at flowers or imbibe moisture from the ground – from my observations they appear to obtain most if not all of their sustenance from aphid and psyllid secretions ( honeydew ) on the upper surface of leaves.

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Butterfly of
Scientific Name
Abisara neophron chelina
by
FRUHSTORFER, 1904
Family
SubFamily
RIODININAE
Tribe
N/A
SubTribe
N/A

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